"Even where prices are down, the bases still help provide plenty of people looking to buy. In the Florida Panhandle, where a saturated housing market saw sluggish sales last year, soldiers at Eglin Air Force Base said the downturn has made it easier for them to purchase homes in an area where demand is bolstered by Gulf Coast beaches.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Samual Dickerson and his wife moved to the area four years ago. They thought about buying a home then but the prices were high and few homes were available.
'It was unrealistic. The prices were going up about $10,000 every month,' Dickerson said.
That changed with the downturn that saw the median home sales price in the county around Eglin fall 7 percent in the second quarter from the year before to $232,000. An average number was not available from the local real estate database.
Dickerson and his wife have decided to buy a home this year even though it's likely he will get orders to move to another base because they like the area and hope to return."